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September 19, 2019

This daily devotion continues from the previous day’s message

 

5. Believers need the revelation about the sovereign Lord, who in His sovereignty will position His people as influential, renowned, and respected people in the Babylonian system.

 

Although Daniel received various special treatments from Ashpenaz (especially in the aspect of food and drinks), it’s not because of Daniel’s eloquence in lobbying Ashpenaz, but because God pours out His favor over Daniel due to his determination to not defile himself with the king’s choice food (Daniel 1:8-9). God’s favor caused Ashpenaz to sympathize and do good to Daniel; this is God’s sovereignty manifesting in order to position Daniel as a powerful man in the system of Babylon!

 

As long as believers still believe that the way to become influential, renown, and respected is through their hard work, connection, and lobbying skills with certain people, the same believers will easily (and willingly) ‘kill’ the voice of their conscience in order to maintain their current position, or to climb the ladder of promotion. That’s why believers who have reached certain position in Babylon could become compromising towards the various inaccuracies that can be found all over the system. In that case, the believer has been ‘bought’ by Babylon; they are more willing to sacrifice their mandate as God’s witness rather than ‘endangering’ or ‘putting at stake’ their position and all the life conveniences that come with it!

 

That’s what King Jeroboam did after receiving a prophecy from Prophet Ahijah that God will make him king over 10 tribes of Israel (1 Kings 11:29-39). Jeroboam was very afraid that the Israelites will keep going to Jerusalem (Kingdom of Judah) to worship God, turning their heart away from him (1 Kings 12:26-31). Instead of ‘pursuing God’ more all-out, Jeroboam deliberately plunged Israel into idolatry, hurting the heart of the Lord even more (1 Kings 12:29-33, 13:33-34). While actually, by pursuing God’s favor over his position, Jeroboam’s throne and successors will be strengthened by God Himself (1 Kings 11:37-38)!

 

That’s why, if God’s people want to be positioned and promoted by God in the Babylonian system, they must firstly equip themselves with the revelation dimension of God’s sovereignty. Believers must realize that God could simply lift anyone in His sovereignty to occupy certain positions. At the same time, He has the authority and power to lower anyone from their position (Daniel 2:20-22, 4:17).

 

When God’s people realize that the strategic position they have comes from God’s hand, they must also believe this: as long as they live favorably before God’s heart, faithful to live in His statutes, keep functioning as God’s witness according to His will, then there is no power that is able to remove them from the strategic position!

 

That’s what Daniel experienced! King Darius was deceived by his political enemies to make a law in his empire so that no one may worship or make a request to any god. Meanwhile, Daniel has resolved in his heart to always live favorably before the heart of the Lord; Daniel still decided to pray to YHWH, the God of Israel (Daniel 6)! Daniel fully realized and believed this: because God’s hands placed him at the peak of Babylonian and Medo-Persian government, the same hands will also preserve him in his position!

 

Challenges are ahead of us indeed – the ‘lion’s den’ and the ‘fiery furnace’ will always be there for us to overcome; but believe that with the revelation of the sovereign God, we will never compromise what we believe in so far! By faith in the sovereign God, we will rise as overcomers of the Babylonian system! #ILoveGod

 

This message will be continued tomorrow.

 

Ps. Steven Agustinus